Timequake

by Kurt Vonnegut | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0425164349 Global Overview for this book
Registered by TimTheMed on 1/20/2004
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3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by TimTheMed on Tuesday, January 20, 2004
Not bad. I used to be a BIG Vonnegut fan when I was younger. I think I prefer his earlier works.

Journal Entry 2 by BookGroupMan from Chester, Cheshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, January 28, 2004
Thanks Tim, received in the post this morning. Working from home because of the white-out; and trying to resist the temptation to read all day ;-)

(11/04) Review to follow

Journal Entry 3 by BookGroupMan from Chester, Cheshire United Kingdom on Friday, April 16, 2004
I’m assuming that this is typical Vonnegut, definitely similar to the ‘unique’ style of Slaughterhouse 5 (the only other book of his that I have read), although separated by 28 years, the books that is, not my reading of them :-) Part biography, part science fiction; this is a dense novel, full of quirky black comedy, anecdote, social study & philosophy. Cover quotes include “a puree of fact and fancy” – I couldn’t have put it better myself.

The plot almost defies description, as with Slaughterhouse, it’s a dizzying journey backwards and forwards in time. KV is no advocate of ‘linear’ storylines, nor is he inclined to give the reader too many landmarks or help with following the plot. However, he does try to summarise the chronology of events in the prologue “ I have pretended in this book that I will still be alive for the clambake in 2001. In chapter 46, I imagine myself as still alive in 2010. Sometimes I say i’m in 1996, where I really am, and sometimes I say that I am in the midst of a rerun following a timequake, without making clear distinctions between the two situations. I must be nuts.” – well that’s perfectly clear then!

Anyway, the plot doesn’t really matter, as this is mostly a novel of ideas, but also KV showing off I think? The Timequake is a ‘universal hiccup’, “...the universe suffered a crisis of self-confidence. Should it go on expanding indefinitely? What was the point?...It suddenly shrunk ten years“ so everyone is forced to re-live the decade from 1991 to 2001 exactly as it happened.

As well as the author, his fictional alter-ego, the Science Fiction writer Kilgore Trout stars in this, helping to get the world back on its feet (in many cases literally) after the Timequake finishes and people regain ‘free will’. The mantra of the day is “You were sick, but now you’re well, and there’s work to do” – is KV telling us all something about our lives, our lack of ambition, drive, social conscience? He tells us a tale, through one of Kilgore Trout’s SF allegories, about the 3 B-36 sisters on the planet Booboo, where reliance on TV and other technological distractions kills their imagination and turns the Booboolings from the most adaptable beings in the galaxy to the most merciless.

If you like Vonnegut’s work you’ll like this - not much help that, is it?

Journal Entry 4 by BookGroupMan at on Sunday, July 18, 2004
Released on Saturday, July 17, 2004 at BCUK 2004 Unconvention @ Apres Bar, Summerrow in Birmingham, England Controlled Releases.

Too many books! I think some of mine got picked up...should do wonders for my releasing & catching figures :)

Journal Entry 5 by SwissToni on Sunday, July 18, 2004
I read "Jailbird" by Vonnegut earlier this year (thanks to US BC-er Pasquinade's generosity) and although in places it was quite hard work - it has the densest introduction of any book I have read, I think - it was ultimately an extremely satisfying read. I have been idly planning to make a trip through some of Vonnegut's back catalogue, so I snapped this up when I saw it beckoning to me from the table at the unconvention.

Thanks for sharing.

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